FREI AND STIGGER MARCH ON TO TAKE STAGE 4 OF CAPE EPIC

The two have won all five races held so far: The Prologue and Stages 1 through 4

Absa Cape Epic Press Release:

Pro Women’s field starts stage 4 of the 2021 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Saronsberg in Tulbagh to CPUT in Wellington, South Africa on the 21st of  October 2021
Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic

 

Sina Frei and Laura Stigger (NinetyOne-songo-Specialized) won their fifth consecutive Absa Cape Epic stage in the Slanghoek Valley today. It means they now hold a near-unassailable 17 minute lead over Robyn de Groot and Ariane Luthi (Salusmed) with three stages to go.
Early in the stage, it looked like their 2021 Cape Epic domination might be broken. The Computer Mania MTB duo of Cherie Redecker and Adelheid Morath burst into life right from the start. Seemingly startled by the early pace-setters, Salusmed responded, as did the overall leaders NinetyOne-songo-Specialized. The three teams formed the lead bunch, with Luthi and De Groot looking in great form.
Adelheid Morath of Computer Mania MTB leads the Pro Women’s field during stage 4 of the 2021 Absa Cape Epic.
Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic

 
After a sluggish start, Faces CST’s Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss then hauled in the leading riders — not long after the racing led to a bad crash for Luthi. At the finish, she made her way straight to the medics.
“We were going really well and feeling good,” said Luthi. “Candice and Mariske were putting the pressure on — then I am not sure what actually happened. I hit something, went down, and landed on a rock. It was incredibly painful. I gathered my bottle, but I think I was in a bit of shock from the crash and it took me a while to get going again.”
By now, Frei and Stigger had pulled away but Faces CST was able to claim second place on the day. “After four crashes on four stages of the race my body was kind of in survival mode today,” said Mariske Strauss. “But we pushed through to the end and were glad to take second.”
Lill added, “It wasn’t the perfect day for us and we had some struggles early on but we came back strongly and had a solid finish.”
Ariane Lüthi and Robyn De Groot during stage 4 of the 2021 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Saronsberg in Tulbagh to CPUT in Wellington, South Africa on the 21th October 2021
Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic

For Stigger and Frei, the comfortable lead meant they could take the time to enjoy the trails – even if the toll of five days of racing is starting to tell. “Every day is a little bit tougher,” said Stigger. “The body is definitely feeling it. But there were amazing trails today and we really enjoyed riding them; that makes it easy to get up in the morning when you know you are going to ride good trails.”
Theresa Ralph and Kim Le Court of Galileo Infiniti SPOT.
Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic

Stigger added that teamwork has been crucial to their successful ride so far. “We’ve had good teamwork. We race together in Europe, we are friends, so that makes it easier to ride and race together.”
Sina Frei and Laura Stigger win stage 4 of the 2021 Absa Cape Epic on October 21, 2021
Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic

Stage 5 of the Absa Cape Epic will take riders on a route that embraces Wellington’s trail network. Pre-ride homework and teamwork will be crucial.
Tune in to the Live Broadcast of Stage 5 from 08:30 on the Absa Cape Epic Facebook pageYouTube account, and/or Absa Cape Epic website.
Stage 4 Results:
1) NinetyOne-songo-Specialized, Sina FREI, Laura STIGGER 03:19:44.7
2) Faces CST, Candice LILL, Mariske STRAUSS 03:23:54.4 | +00:04:09.7
3) Salusmed, Ariane LÜTHI, Robyn DE GROOT 03:25:53.0 | +00:06:08.3
General classification after Stage 4:
1) NinetyOne-songo-Specialized, Sina FREI, Laura STIGGER 18:12:32.2 | 21.9 km/h ave.
2) Salusmed, Ariane LÜTHI, Robyn DE GROOT 18:29:56.1 | +00:17:23.9 | 21.3 km/h ave.
3) Faces CST, Candice LILL, Mariske STRAUSS 18:41:01.1 | +00:28:28.9 | 21.5 km/h ave.
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About The Absa Cape Epic
The Absa Cape Epic is the world’s premier mountain bike stage race. The route changes every year, leading aspiring amateur and professional mountain bikers from around the world through 650 Untamed kilometers of unspoiled scenery and up 15500m of vertical ascent.
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